When it comes to shopping, Americans need no instruction. When it comes to eating, Americans know how to make their belts explode off their pants. However, when Americans shop for food, it’s a collision of the best and worst of both worlds. The ideal consumer wants quality and quantity for the least amount of money. Therefore, places like Costco, Wal-Mart and Target give consumers exactly what they want.
When I was introduced to these stores, I was shocked and repulsed by the amount of food thrown at the consumer. I had a change of heart when I saw my favorite trail mix for around 12 cents a pound. I was rather disappointed that they were not selling feed bags to wrap around my face so I didn’t have to use my hands while eating. While I was shoveling my newfound treasure into a store-sanctioned garbage bag, I saw the faces of happy shoppers light up when they found their favorite foods. I couldn’t help but notice their waistlines next.
I also could not help but wonder if this type of shopping was an unhealthy habit. Perhaps I would not have felt this way if I didn’t see so much buzz about the fried Oreos in the confectionary part of the store. It also didn’t help that I had somehow unconsciously filled three bags of Cap’n Crunch while formulating these ideas. Yes, I decided something was amiss.
I understand that these stores are a godsend for low-income families and save many people money, but it appears that more emphasis is being placed on unhealthy choices rather than healthy alternatives. This could lead to health problems, outweighing (no pun intended) any sort of savings people gain from bulk foods. Granted, it’s not the most serious situation in life and ‘breadth’ (pun intended). The danger of bulk foods is that you cannot just buy a few pieces of candy or whatever snack you like. You need to get the seven-pound fun pack, or you wouldn’t get that great low price to prevent your money going to ‘waist’ (last pun, I swear). It would be unfair to say that these bulk food stores are the sole problem because if their defense is that ‘we are a business, and we are only giving the consumer what they want,’ then they are completely correct.
It would also be unfair to say that it’s completely the consumer’s fault for this food-buying lifestyle. Therefore, I’ll only imply it. Our culture has been dominated by the idea that you need to get the most of something for your dollar, otherwise you are getting ripped off. Take these ideas: You need four pounds of cheese on your pizza, you need to be near barfing level after every meal and if you buy 13 pouches of nacho cheese, you get the 14th free.
The belief that you need to live by getting the most food for the least money, otherwise you might as well pack up and move to France, is responsible for unhealthy consumption. It is not exactly a great state of affairs when consumers aren’t satisfied until they are comatose, surrounded in Cheeto dust and using the bag as a blanket. That actually would be a great selling point for Cheetos: ‘Bag converts to blanket!’ I wouldn’t worry about ants, though